Why cloud accounting is good for your business
Modern accounting firms are becoming more profitable thanks to cloud accounting software. But moving your business online means changing the way you work.
As well as being secure and reliable, online accounting can make your practice significantly more efficient, increase your revenue, and let you collaborate with clients anywhere at any time.
Cloud accounting software lets you provide easily accessible accounting services, and frees up time for your staff, so they can spend more time on lucrative work like advisory services, consulting, and new business development.
Xero backs up your business information on a daily basis, so if your device is lost, stolen or broken, you can relax safe in the knowledge your account is backed up, safe and secure online. Find out how Xero helps you stay safe online with multiple layers of security and two-step authentication.
Xero helps you stay compliant with Australian Tax Office (ATO) requirements, including Single Touch Payroll (STP). STP means that businesses with 20 or more employees have to send information to the ATO with every pay run rather than once a year. With STP in Xero, you can comply with the new requirements in a few simple clicks. Learn more about Single Touch Payroll in Xero.
Topics covered in this chapter:
- Where are you now?
- Considerations before you transform
- Staff buy-in and managing objections
Where are you now and how can you transform your practice?
It’s a good idea to understand how your practice is currently working before you make any big changes. Use the checklist at the bottom of this page to review your existing processes and determine what is and isn’t working.
A move to Xero is different for everyone… and remember it doesn’t happen overnight. Xero has a team of in-house partner consultants to help you transform your practice, and we have certified implementation partners who can help as well.
As a member part of the partner program, you’ll have an account manager to help you along the way, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Four things to consider before you move to Xero
Moving to a new way of working can be challenging. If you're using other online solutions or you're moving from desktop software to online accounting software, it's still a relatively new process for a lot of accounting and bookkeeping firms. With that in mind, here are four key things to consider when making the move to the cloud and a better way of working.
1. What are your pain points?
Identify the current pain points in your business and focus your attention on fixing them when you make the move to online accounting software. You’ll streamline your work processes and make sure you’re getting the most of your software from the start.
2. Engage your team
Find out about your staff's end-to-end business processes, including the steps involved, the time it takes, who completes what task and when. Having these conversations can help you identify existing frustrations and new efficiencies. They’ll also shed light on your team members' attitudes and expectations about the prospect of change.
3. Prepare for change
In order to minimise disruption, prepare for change early on – even if it’s 12 months out.
- Ask your team what they want to see from change.
- Digitise your paper records.
- Clean up your client database.
- If you need, consider a phased approach.
4. Learn from others around you
Every firm is different and their experience when moving to the cloud is unique, but it’s still helpful to learn from others who have been through the same process. The Facebook community group is available for you to ask questions and see how other people are approaching a move to Xero and the cloud.
For more information, speak to your account manager or use the link below to get in touch with a Xero partner consultant.
More helpful resources
Paid professional services
Get staff buy-in and manage any objections
Perhaps the biggest challenge in moving to cloud software and a new way of working is getting your staff on board. Here’s how you can kick start the process and make sure your staff are engaged:
Create a dream team
Draw up a dream team and assign owners – this could be one or many people who’ll help drive the transition.
Project owner – a person with a good understanding of where your practice is headed.
Xero champions – the go-to people who’ll support the project owner and demonstrate Xero to clients.
Practice staff – anyone who is affected by the move to the cloud, including client-facing, data-facing and payroll staff.
Communicate with and train your staff
It’s normal for staff to object to change, and it’s important to support and motivate them through it, encouraging them to give both good and bad feedback.
Have a communication plan in place. Share this with stakeholders and the wider business where relevant. Let them know about the transition to the cloud and outline details of the timeline, delivery date, and your expectations from staff. Have a plan in place for those external to the business too.
Be transparent in communication. Listening to hesitations and concerns from employees can raise important questions for you to answer. Relay information to them directly and clearly to help build confidence in the transition.
Be prepared to manage objections. Embrace them with a positive attitude and arm employees with the knowledge and skills to learn and understand the new systems and processes.
Get your staff certified. With education and certification, your staff will have more confidence to carry out tasks.
Implementing products for your practice
Sometimes it’s hard to step away from what you’ve always done and the processes you’ve always followed – so the more help to make the move to the cloud an easy one, the better.